Today, Commissioner Stylianides meets with Luxembourgish Ministers Daniel Kersch, responsible for Home Affairs, Civil Service and Administrative Reform and Minister Romain Schneider for Social Security, Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs and Sport on the occasion of a new Luxembourgish contribution to strengthen the EU Civil Protection Mechanism: mobile, satellite-based telecommunications via the platform emergency.lu.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, said: "We welcome this contribution which is testimony to Luxembourg's long-standing tradition of providing high added-value capacities for a better EU response to disasters in Europe and worldwide. The new telecommunication platform emergency.lu will establish internet and telephone communication as in the aftermath of hurricanes Matthew and Irma that destroyed communication infrastructure in the Caribbean."
The Luxembourgish capacity provides advanced communication services such as telephone and internet connections to support the coordination efforts of first responders and humanitarian actors in the field at times natural or man-made disasters destroyed local communication infrastructure. Composed of two experts, one satellite communications system and ICT equipment, emergency.lu can be deployed within 12 hours. It has also been used following major disasters such as the earthquake in Nepal and the Ebola epidemic. The emergency.lu capacity will be deployed to assure stable communication in emergencies to all Participating States of the Mechanism and internationally.
Ministers from Luxembourg will take this opportunity to visit the Brussels-based Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), the coordination hub for an efficient and coherent European response during emergencies inside and outside Europe.
Commissioner Stylianides also meets today with Jan Jambon, Belgian Minister of the Interior. As participant to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, Belgium offers expertise and actively supports states in need, like in 2014 when Belgium sent its mobile laboratory to fight against Ebola in Guinea. Both meetings take place in light of the Commission's ambitious new plans to strengthen Europe's ability to deal with disasters. The comprehensive plan focusses on two complementary strands of action, targeting a stronger collective response at European level: rescEU, and stepping up disaster prevention and preparedness capacities. Administrative procedures are foreseen to be streamlined and simplified to reduce the time needed to deploy life-saving assistance.
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